Change of itinerary x 1
Mo Li didn’t directly follow Liu Chang and his crew He left the town and went to the county town of Ma County without hesitation.
——Liu Chang’s illness is dangerous. The physicians in XiaoHe Town must be helpless, so those soldiers could only send him to the county town.
Whatever the reason, something’s wrong with their officer and it’s difficult for the soldiers to explain when they go back. They could only find the local government office. In this way, they can hold the Chen family accountable. It also allowed Liu Chang to receive timely treatment.
However, the Magistrate of Ma County ignored official duties and wouldn’t go to the government office all day long. Seeing this kind of hot potato, he’d pretend to be deaf and dumb, not even daring to touch it.
Mo Li had all the maps of PingZhou in his head. He arrived at the county town of Ma County just after midday. The two officers at the gate were idle and slacking while betting. Looking at their posture, Mo Li knew that Liu Chang and his crew hadn’t come yet. He didn’t enter the city gates, but walked along the city walls. He then looked around to find no one.
Then went over the wall.
The city walls of Ma County are very high, not to guard against bandits, but to keep out the wind.
Ma County is at the northernmost tip of PingZhou, and the terrain happened to be a gap in the mountains. Every year during winter, the northwest wind would blow here for four months. People with poor physiques simply couldn’t survive. Since the previous dynasty, no one wanted to come here to serve, so either a convicted or demoted official became Ma County’s Magistrate.
The city walls protected them from the wind, so they built many houses next to the wall.
Mo Li landed on a row of blue tiles. He straightened his robe and quietly landed on an alley.
When nothing happens in winter, the streets of Ma County are always empty, so Mo Li couldn’t find someone to ask for directions. He went around three full times before he discovered the market.
When it came to medicine shops, most of them were next to the ChengHuang* Temple or the market.
*Shing Wong is the City God in Hong Kong. Known as Chenghuang in Mandarin, his role was once to protect the walls and moats of cities. Now he has the task of looking after the dead of the city and ensuring that the offerings of their descendants make it to them in the afterlife.
Because many people lived here, the road is easy to walk.
Zhushan County was no exception, but because the county town was too small, there’s no decent market. On the first day of every month, the open space in front of the county government office could be used for setting up stalls, and Physician Mo’s medicine shop barely touched the market.
It’s different in Ma County as a nearby street is full of big shops. On such a cold day, you can still see a few small blue cloth sedan chairs at the door of the clothing houses and silverware stores. He just didn’t see anyone, so the porters who carried the sedan chairs must have gone somewhere to hide from the wind.
He saw the banners of a medicine shop shake from the wind.
Mo Li opened the door and the strong odor of herbs pounced on his face.
Behind the counter, an old gentleman in a brown cotton robe was talking about medicine with his apprentice. He didn’t look back when the door rang.
The clerk came over from nearby. He originally wanted to help the guest and pat the snow off his body, but with Mo Li dressed up like this, it made him a little dazed. People in Ma County would go out with thick padded jackets and big cloaks, wrapping themselves from top to bottom. However, this person seemed to stay inside the house all the time, not looking like he came in from outside at all.
“Do you want to see a physician or order medicine?”
Mo Li nodded to the servant, and softly said: “Find someone.”
Without waiting for the other party to respond, Physician Mo shouted directly at the back of the old gentleman: “Physician He.”
While checking if his apprentice had the right amount of herbs, Physician He suddenly heard this greeting. He looked back questioningly and a surprised expression appeared on his face. He quickly went down the wooden ladder and said in surprise: “Physician Mo? How did you get to Ma County in this cold winter?”
Saying that, he immediately called the servant to pour hot tea, and called the apprentice behind him to pick up Mo Li’s bag.
Mo Li’s luggage contains a few clothes and mostly his medicine bag.
Physician He welcomed him to the inner hall, and then asked in detail: “I heard that the roads between Ji Guan Mountain and Ji Mao Mountain were blocked by heavy snow. Did Physician Mo come by for a visit after being blocked by the wind and snow?”
Mo Li had also treated patients outside of Zhushan County. Although he had never been to Ma County, he knew Physician He. At this moment, he didn’t correct Physician He and tacitly acquiesced.
“Ai, so that’s why!” Physician He kept sighing, “This year’s snow has changed. Sure enough, the rumors were right!”
Mo Li held the teacup and asked in doubt, “What does Physician He mean?”
“Why, haven’t you heard of it?” Physician He looked at Mo Li in surprise, and then thought that the other party had good medical skills at a young age since he’d either go to the mountains to collect medicine or go out to treat patients. It’s not as leisurely as him. Also, the news would be blocked for Zhushan County, so Mo Li might really not know the big news.
Physician He drew closer and whispered: “The rumors say that someone discovered a gold mine in the mountains to the south of PingZhou Prefecture. The local nobles there concealed it and privately excavated it. This fall, things were revealed, and this is a crime punishable by decapitation! The master of that family killed all the servants who mined the gold mine and buried all traces on the mountain. The noble didn’t want to admit it, but some people saw red lights in the mountain that night. Later, they said that it’s haunted, and the hauntings had become fiercer. As the old saying goes, if the snow falls too much, something’s wrong!
When he heard the word mining, Mo Li’s heart jumped.
Then he felt that it wasn’t that coincidental. Every mountain can’t have a dragon vein——Ji Mao Mountain has it, but Ji Guan Mountain doesn’t have it.
“Let’s not talk about it. I’m here this time for something.” Mo Li suppressed the idea of asking about the PingZhou mine because time was running out. Although he used light footwork on the road, XiaoHe Town is not far from the County Town of Ma County. Liu Chang and the others would soon arrive.
“Oh? If something’s bothering Physician Mo, this old man will help…”
“No, I’m actually here to help Physician He.”
Mo Li omitted the grievances between Missus Xue and Liu Chang. He only said that when passing by XiaoHe Town, he saw a sixth rank military officer carried out of a mansion.
“I happened to stand close and saw it. The man suffered a blow to his chest. It was originally only an injury to the internal organs and he just needed to recuperate. But after he was injured, he became too angry and fall into a coma. It’s like adding fuel to the fire, and it went out of control.”
Physician He turned pale when he heard that. He was the best physician in Ma County and a sixth rank official, who might die at any time, would be looking for him immediately!
Mo Li sighed. In fact, in the boundary of Ma County, even if Physician He can’t cure Liu Chang, nothing would happen, but Missus Xue doesn’t know Physician He. She also didn’t know that Physician He suffered a catastrophe in his early years——Physician He treated an old madam, but the other party was extremely ill with no cure. The official was furious and all the physicians who came to see her were directly put in jail.
Physician He, who finally escaped with his life, has since avoided any dying patient from official families and government officials in fear.
“Physician He doesn’t need to be alarmed. I’m here because of this.” Mo Li looked at Physician He and hinted, “The heart pulse is damaged, and can still last for a day or two. You can tell the patient to not get angry.”
Physician He settled down, though still flustered.
Mo Li said: “If Physician He doesn’t dislike it, I would like to temporarily become a physician of this medicine shop.”
This made Physician He happy. He then watched blankly as Mo Li took a lump of indigo dye from his luggage and paint it on his face.
“We encountered each other in XiaoHe Town. If they recognize me, it’ll be troublesome.”
Mo Li thickened his eyebrows, found some black powder, and added a layer to his face. His complexion immediately became rough and dark. He asked Physician He for a thick cotton-padded jacket to wear on his body, and he also filled a few cloth towels around his waist and abdomen. When he stood up, his posture changed. His back slightly hunched and his appearance changed in the blink of an eye.
Physician He looked dumbfounded and repeatedly asked if this was the legendary disguise technique.
“How can you call this small trick a disguise?” Mo Li put on Physician He’s wolf fur hat again. The people here wore a lot of clothes in winter, so if he deliberately lowered his head, they might not see his face even if they passed by each other.
Suddenly, there was a noise from outside.
“Where’s the physician? Where’s the physician here? Come out!”
“…so fast?” Physician He took a breath, gritted his teeth, and went out.
Don’t know where the soldiers found a sedan chair as they helped a person enter the door. Liu Chang’s complexion was very pale, and with blood on the corner of his mouth, he looked like he’s about to die.
This shocked Physician He so much that his whole body went stiff. Several of his apprentices looked at the patient’s expression, and they also cried out in their hearts that it was bad and dared not step forward.
“Inner hall, go to the inner hall!” Physician He returned to his senses, and finally opened his mouth, “No matter how serious it is, you must hide him from the wind and go to the inner hall!”
The soldiers pressed on their swords as they carried the patient into the inner hall.
With so many people swarming into the medicine shop, it became a mess. When the servant saw Mo Li, he didn’t realize who this person was.
Physician He turned sideways and blocked part of the soldier’s eyes, giving Mo Li a chance to touch Liu Chang’s wrist.
Mo Li took his pulse and found that the too angry Liu Chang hurt his liver and lungs. Now that he’s injured, it’s more dangerous than expected. In fact, Mo Li only hit the bridge of Liu Chang’s nose, and it didn’t hurt his life. Chen Zhong also didn’t want him to die, but due to the unexpected turn of events, something went wrong.
Mo Li held Liu Chang’s left hand again, and continued to take his pulse.
——In Liu Chang’s body, there’s a spiritual qi that’s repairing the damaged heart.
This very weak spiritual qi seemed to lurk in his veins, only triggering when he encountered danger.
Mo Li put his hand down in a complicated mood. Liu Chang might have taken an elixir with some spirituality. It’s just that as a mortal, he couldn’t use it completely, so only a small part of the spiritual medicine’s essence was obtained.
Spiritual plants are not easy to come out! Eaten just like this, Mo Li felt very distressed.
However, although Liu Chang was rude, his sin doesn’t require death. In that case, it’s up to the heavens whether he lived or died!
Mo Li quietly retreated, looking for a piece of paper to write a prescription while Physician He bit the bullet and prescribed a prescription, ordering the medicine made immediately. The soldiers carried their swords and asked Physician He to decoct the medicine himself, but this irritated the people in the medicine shop and they started an argument. Physician He took the opportunity to change the prescription with Mo Li, and followed his prescription.
Liu Chang woke up after drinking the decoction.
Physician He sternly said a lot of taboos, and repeatedly stressed that he couldn’t get angry.
Liu Chang thought of what happened today, and his face paled——just thinking about it pained his heart.
“Since you’ve experienced it, don’t get angry!” While sighing at the effectiveness of this prescription, Physician He looked at Liu Chang and couldn’t help but ask, “What precious medicinal material has this official taken? For example, shaped ginseng, shouwu…”
After all, it’s so obvious in his pulse that even Physician He figured it out.
Liu Chang cherished his life at this moment, so he didn’t dare hide it and casually said: “A month ago, because I got lost in the mountains and lacked food, I dug out some roots to eat. I seem to have eaten some Solomon’s seal.”
Physician He relaxed a little now, thinking that Liu Chang wouldn’t die anymore.
Liu Chang himself thought the same way. The soldiers were all happy to see him well. Except for being pale, he was able to walk and get out of bed.
——As long as Liu Chang returned to the army alive, the following matters had nothing to do with them, whether it cured the root cause or the medicine is just that good.
Liu Chang was unwilling at hearing his subordinates urging him to go back, but when he thought of this, his chest tightened and he became nauseous, so he could only say bitterly: “For the time being, I’ll spare that slut. We’ll return to Si Lang Mountain.”
After waiting for the people to leave, Physician He entered the inner hall and saw Mo Li return to his original appearance. He hesitated to speak.
“Physician He, what’s the matter?”
“I heard them mention Si Lang Mountain.” Physician He said in a low voice, “The rumors of gold mines and hauntings came from there!”
Mo Li paused, then realized that he couldn’t get it out of his mind, nor could he go to Tianshan and Kunlun. Afraid he’d have to follow Liu Chang and his crew to see that mountain.